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Updated: 2 min 37 sec ago

Pouille To Play For First ATP World Tour Title

10 hours 21 min ago

Lucas Pouille is a man on a mission in 2016 and the 22-year-old will look to add a first ATP World Tour title on Sunday at the Moselle Open.

Pouille is set to face top seed Dominic Thiem in the Metz final after dispatching 2014 champion David Goffin 7-6(6), 6-1 on Saturday. He punctuated the one-hour and 21-minute victory with an emphatic forehand pass at the net on his first match point. The third seed, who fired 32 winners, crashed the net often in claiming 12 of 14 points when coming forward.

Pouille enters his second ATP World Tour final in fine form following a quarter-final run at the US Open. Runner-up in Bucharest (l. to Verdasco) earlier this year, he is hoping to extend France's dominance at the indoor hard-court event. A Frenchman has now reached the final in eight of the past nine years, claiming six of the past seven titles.

World No. 18 Pouille, who earned his sixth victory over a Top 15 opponent in beating Goffin, boosted his chances of qualifying for the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. Currently at No. 15 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, he is looking to make his debut at The O2 in London.

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"I had chances to go up two breaks and maybe win the first set 6-1 or 6-2, but he found a way to come back," said Pouille. "I held strong in the tie-break, then started to really play freely in the second set. I'm feeling good physically on the court after my US Open run. Quicker than before." 

Goffin, meanwhile, suffered his first defeat in Metz after reeling off seven straight victories in the French city. The Belgian had his chances to close out the first set, but was unable to take his lone set point at 6-5 in the tie-break. He remains in search of his first victory against Pouille, falling to 0-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Pouille and Thiem will face off for the second time on Sunday, with the Frenchman claiming their lone encounter at last year's Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

Pavic/Venus Reach Seventh Final Of Season
Mate Pavic and Michael Venus advanced to their seventh ATP World Tour final of the 2016 season, downing Colin Fleming and Scott Lipsky 7-6(4), 6-1 on Saturday in Metz. The Croatian and the Kiwi are looking to claim their third title on French indoor hard courts this year, having won in Montpellier and Marseille. They also notched titles in Auckland and 's-Hertogenbosch.

Pavic and Venus will face Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos in Sunday's final, in a rematch of the Gstaad title match.

Wawrinka Goes For Career First In St. Petersburg

11 hours 22 min ago

Stan Wawrinka will try to win a career-best fifth ATP World Tour title of the season on Sunday when he faces #NextGen player Alexander Zverev in the St. Petersburg Open final. The top seed advanced to his fifth final of the year and 25th of his career by beating Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(8), 6-2 in one hour and 51 minutes on Saturday.

The Swiss saved two set points in the first set before claiming the 18-point tie-break. He broke to start the second set and again at 4-2 to take his 10th victory in a row. Wawrinka also improved to a perfect 8-0 in sets in St. Petersburg.

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Both players fought for every big point in the semi-final. Wawrinka saved all three break points; Bautista Agut erased seven of nine faced.

Last season, Wawrinka also won four titles but never earned the chance to go for a fifth. He'll arrive confident on Sunday. He's 11-0 in his past 11 finals, dating back to his 2014 title in Chennai (d. Roger-Vasselin). The last time Wawrinka lost in a final was more than three years ago: 's-Hertogenbosch in June 2013 against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.

Zverev, however, also hasn't lost a set in St. Petersburg. The 6'6”, 19 year old will be going for his first title and will be playing in the third final of his season and career. The two will be meeting for the first time.

Thiem Storms Back To Reach Metz Final

12 hours 43 sec ago

With the top four seeds in the semi-finals of an ATP World Tour event for the first time in 2016, a pair of enticing match-ups were on tap on Saturday at the Moselle Open.

Top seed Dominic Thiem kicked off proceedings in Metz with a dramatic rally to overcome two-time champion Gilles Simon 4-6, 7-5, 6-3. The Austrian found himself with his back against the wall with Simon serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but he would not be denied his spot in the final. Thiem broke back with a massive down-the-line forehand and secured another break at 6-5 to force a decider with a cross-court backhand winner.

Thiem continued to apply pressure on Simon's serve in the third set and despite failing to break from 0/40 at 2-1, he would claim the decisive lead four games later when the Frenchman sent a backhand long. The World No. 10 fired 38 winners and took 16 of 25 net points to prevail after two hours and 18 minutes. He is now a staggering 21-1 in deciding sets this year.

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"I expected a very hard match," said Thiem. "We always have long rallies. If he played one more good game at 5-4, the match is finished.

"It's a dream to play in six finals. I never expected it. It's always something really special." 

Thiem, who is No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, continued his push to qualify for the season finale for the first time, as he advances to his sixth ATP World Tour final of the season. Having already won on the clay of Buenos Aires and Nice, outdoor hard courts of Acapulco and grass of Stuttgart, he is seeking his first title on indoor hard this week. The Austrian awaits home hope Lucas Pouille on Sunday.

Simon, a two-time champion (2010, '13) in Metz, had won 14 of his past 15 matches in the French city entering Saturday. He was appearing in his first ATP World Tour semi-final of the season.

Baghdatis Up For a Challenge At Chengdu Open

12 hours 15 min ago

Marcos Baghdatis attended the draw ceremony for the inaugural Chengdu Open on Saturday. The historic Chinese city, capital of Sichuan province, will host an ATP World Tour event for the first time. The state-of-the-art venue in Chengdu boasts a centre court capacity of 6000, two additional show courts with 2000 seats each, and a total of 20 hard courts and 12 indoor courts. Main draw action at the ATP World Tour 250 event will kick off on Monday.

“[Chengdu] is a great city and I am happy to be here,” Baghdatis said. “The environment is very beautiful here, the facilities are great and I am excited to get my tournament underway.”

The luck of the draw did Baghdatis no favours, as the Cypriot will face Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in his opening match. Carreno Busta, No. 39 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is just three spots below Baghdatis and recently won his maiden ATP World Tour title on the hard courts of Winston-Salem.

“He’s a very tough opponent to play against in the first round,” Baghdatis said. “He won a title not too long ago so he will be confident.”

The top seeds for the first-year event are Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov and Feliciano Lopez. All four players will receive first-round byes.

View Full Draw

Haase Leads Final Four At Sibiu Challenger 2016 Friday Highlights

12 hours 51 min ago
Watch Friday highlights as top seed Robin Haase leads the semi-final charge at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Sibiu, Romania. Video courtesy Sibiu Open.

#NextGen Zverev To Go For First Title In St. Petersburg

13 hours 56 min ago
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Alexander Zverev will play for his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday after gaining his first win over Top 10 player Tomas Berdych on Saturday at the St. Petersburg Open. Zverev, a member of the ATP Next Generation, dismissed Berdych 6-4, 6-4 in their semi-final contest at Sibur Arena.

The 19-year-old German saved all four break points and landed 66 per cent of his first serves to advance to his third ATP World Tour final of the season and of his career. He has yet to capture a title yet, though, falling in three sets to Dominic Thiem in Nice and to Florian Mayer in Halle.

“I just needed to serve well in the first place, and I did. Then I had to play aggressively,” Zverev said. “Berdych is always trying to dictate the point, and I had to take it away from him. It worked.”

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In St. Petersburg, Zverev, the 2015 ATP Star Of Tomorrow presented by Emirates, will try to become the first ATP World Tour teenage winner since 19-year-old Marin Cilic won New Haven in 2008. Zverev will face top seed Stan Wawrinka for the first time. The Swiss prevailed against fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(8), 6-2.

“He is in good shape,” Zverev said of Wawrinka. “We’ll see.”

Perhaps Zverev will break his final losing streak on Sunday. Before Saturday, the Hamburg native had been 0-4 against Berdych in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, which included two losses on indoor hard courts (Stockholm, 2015; Marseille, 2016). The 31-year-old Czech had also prevailed against Zverev during a five-set Davis Cup match earlier this season and at Wimbledon.

But Zverev, No. 27 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, just three spots below his career high, maintained his strong play in St. Petersburg this week even against World No. 9 Berdych. When the Czech right-hander sailed a forehand long on the second match point, Zverev improved to a perfect 8-0 in sets this week.

See how Zverev compares to the game's best on the ATP Stats LEADERBOARDS.

Goffin Grabs SF Spot In Metz

Sat, 24/09/2016 - 11:02am

Second seed David Goffin continued his bid for a second title at the Moselle Open after beating Nicolas Mahut on Friday. The Belgian World No. 14 needed just over two hours to top the home hope 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4 and reach the semi-finals, where he will face another Frenchman, Lucas Pouille.

Goffin, the 2014 champion at this ATP World Tour 250 tournament, fired 10 aces and capitalised on four of his seven break point chances in his victory as he improved his record in Metz to 7-0.

"Nicolas really went for it from beginning to end, so it was not an easy match," said Goffin. "I only played one bad game in the match but it really cost me. I found my rhythm in the third set. It felt good to get things under control again and finish the match well." 

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Earlier, 22-year-old Pouille defeated compatriot Julien Benneteau 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3. The World No. 18, currently at a career-high in the Emirates ATP Rankings, saved six of the seven break points he faced to advance in two hours and 20 minutes. Pouille was playing in his sixth quarter-final of 2016 and continued his bid for a first ATP World Tour title.

"It was a really high-quality match,” said Pouille. “His ranking really doesn't reflect his level. I'm happy with how I played and how I stayed strong physically."

It will be the third meeting between Pouille and Goffin. The Frenchman leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0.

QF Field Set At Sibiu Challenger 2016 Thursday Highlights

Sat, 24/09/2016 - 9:51am
Watch highlights from Day Four at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Sibiu, where the quarter-final field was completed. Video courtesy Sibiu Open.

Wawrinka Into St. Petersburg Semi-Finals

Sat, 24/09/2016 - 8:41am

Top seed Stan Wawrinka remained perfect against Viktor Troicki, winning 7-5, 6-2 against the Serbian in the quarter-finals of the St. Petersburg Open on Friday. Wawrinka broke on the final point of the opening set, then swept the last four games of the match to win in 64 minutes.

The No. 3 player in the Emirates ATP Race To London, who is already assured of a berth at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, played with confidence. He landed 79 per cent of first serves and saved both break points faced to improve to 6-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry with Troicki.

Wawrinka will play Roberto Bautista Agut for a place in the final. The Swiss has won his past 11 finals, most recently against Novak Djokovic at the US Open.

Bautista Agut overcame a slow start to advance 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 against Joao Sousa. The No. 4 seed dropped serve twice in losing the opening set, but held easily the rest of the way to down the Portuguese in one hour and 40 minutes. All three previous FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings between the two baseliners have gone the distance. Bautista Agut has now won the past two matches.

Begemann/Paes Into Doubles Final

Andre Begemann and Leander Paes moved into the doubles final after downing Russian wild cards Mikhail Elgin and Alexander Kudryavtsev 6-3, 7-6(5). They will face top seeds Dominic Inglot and Henri Kontinen or Konstantin Kravchuk and Andrey Kuznetsov.

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Thiem Sets Simon Semi-Final Clash

Sat, 24/09/2016 - 5:57am

Dominic Thiem remained on course in the Emirates ATP Race To London as he defeated Gilles Muller on Friday to reach the semi-finals of the Moselle Open. The top-seeded Austrian withstood 16 aces to beat the 33-year-old Luxembourg native 6-4, 7-6(5).

“I’m very happy about the match because the return is one of my biggest weaknesses and it’s always tough against a good server like Gilles,” said Thiem. “The first set I returned really well… I broke him and I also had chances to break a second time.”

Thiem currently sits in the seventh position in the Emirates ATP Race To London, behind Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Gael Monfils, who are also in close contention for the remaining five Barclays ATP World Tour Finals qualifying spots. The season finale will be held at The O2 in London from 13-20 November.

The World No. 10, who hit 33 winners and did not face a break point in the 82-minute victory, will take on fourth seed Gilles Simon for a spot in the ATP World Tour 250 final. The pair are tied 2-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, with Thiem claiming the win in their last meeting at the 2015 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Rome.

Earlier, the Frenchman Simon defeated Malek Jaziri 7-6(2), 6-0, capitalising on five of his 13 break point chances to advance in one hour and 40 minutes and reach his first semi-final of 2016.

"It's not the biggest result ever but I get a lot of satisfaction from fighting through and winning the match,” said Simon. "The first set was very tight. Malek likes to change the rhythm and adjust his court position quite a bit. I managed to hang on."

In doubles, Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos ousted second seeds Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin 6-7(1), 6-4, 10-8 to reach the final.

Berdych Fires Into St. Petersburg SFs

Sat, 24/09/2016 - 4:06am

Tomas Berdych was solid on serve on Friday at the St. Petersburg Open to reach his fourth tour-level semi-final of the year. The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals contender, who is currently No. 9 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, struck six aces and lost only four of his first service points to dismantle Paolo Lorenzi 6-4, 6-3 in 78 minutes.

"I felt good," Berdych said. "I am trying to improve day by day, trying to find my rhythm. My goals is to play as many matches as possible."

Berdych will next face fifth seed and #NextGen star Alexander Zverev, who downed 2004 champion Mikhail Youzhny. Berdych is looking for his first final of the year, having lost to eventual champion Andy Murray at Wimbledon in his most recent semi-final appearance.

"I think he is a rising ATP star," said Berdych of Zverev. "I have already played against him a couple of times. We had a couple of good battles at the beginning of this year. One of them was the Davis Cup rubber which I won in five sets. I beat him again at Wimbledon this year. He is definitely a guy with a great future. He always makes me work hard on the court to beat him."

Zverev cruised to a 6-2, 6-2 win against hometown favourite Youzhny to earn his third win in as many FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against the Russian. The towering German fired eight aces and only dropped three points when landing a first serve. His week in St. Petersburg has been a homecoming of sorts, as both his parents hail from the Soviet Union. The 2015 Emirates Star Of Tomorrow winner is chasing his third ATP World Tour final, having finished runner-up in Halle and Nice this year.

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Dutra Silva Continues Thriving In Brazil

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 8:43pm

The pressure of playing at home can be difficult for some players, but it’s exactly where Rogerio Dutra Silva has thrived in his career.

Despite not having many chances to play in Brazil throughout the year, the 32 year old has won three of his seven ATP Challenger Tour titles on home soil. Competing as the third seed at this week’s $50,000 Challenger in Santos, he defeated countryman Joao Pedro Sorgi in straight sets on Thursday to move into the quarter-finals

“Normally I win, so I like it!” joked Dutra Silva about playing in Brazil. “But I really enjoy playing in my country. I’ve played on these courts all my life and I love the food, the fans and all the support. It makes me just want to try and keep going.”

Watch Free Challenger Live Streaming

Dutra Silva’s rapid rise up the Emirates ATP Rankings in the past two years is even more impressive because injuries took him off the tour for six months and forced him to make a comeback at age 31. With his Emirates ATP Ranking as low as No. 515 in April 2015, he went on a tear in the second half of the season by winning two ATP Challenger Tour titles (Prague, Santiago) and finishing as runner-up in two others (Milan, Barranquilla).

This season, he won the biggest title of his career in May at the prestigious $100,000 event in Bordeaux, France, and was also a finalist in two other Challengers (Santiago, Barranquilla). He credited success in his personal life with bringing improved professional results.

“My daughter was born and that was the best thing in my life,” said Dutra Silva. “It’s not easy to come back, but I worked a lot and did my best to try and improve.”

Dutra Silva reached his career-high Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 82 this June. Inspired by the success of players who are well into their 30s like Roger Federer, he also believes his best tennis is still to come.

“I think it’s almost normal these days!” he joked. “People are playing really good tennis at 35 and 36 years old, so that’s my goal. I’m still trying to improve and glad I have a few more years to achieve this.”

Junior Star McNally Reflects On Challenger Main Draw Debut

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 8:23am

Top junior star John McNally will soon spend the next four years competing for Ohio State University, but he’s making noise on that campus this week at the $50,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Columbus.

The 17 year old received a wild card into the singles and doubles main draws, marking his first main draw appearances at an ATP Challenger Tour event. Although he lost in the first round of singles to fellow American Tommy Paul, he’s into the doubles quarter-finals with another American teenager in Jeffrey John Wolf, his regular doubles partner in ITF Junior events.

“Playing my first Challenger main draw was really special, especially in Columbus, since I’m from not far away in Cincinnati. It was also great to play it at Ohio State, where I’ll be attending college next fall,” said McNally. “Even though I had a tough first-round [singles match] against a good friend, I’m ready to try and keep going in the doubles.”

McNally is currently No. 15 in the ITF Junior Rankings, having posted a 27-10 record this year and recorded a third-round showing in the boys’ singles draw at Wimbledon. But while he’s used to making deep runs in junior draws, he admitted it may take some time for that to become a regular occurrence in pro events.

“In the juniors, I’ve been lucky enough to win a lot of matches. There are a lot of weeks where you can win three or four matches in the juniors, maybe even win the tournament, but you can sometimes go a month or more without winning a match in the pros,” said McNally.” It’s just about learning to be a little more mentally tough when it comes to the pro side and being able to flow with some of the ups and downs that will come with it.”

However, McNally is more than ready for the challenge. He’s soaked in the experience of playing and practising with ATP Challenger Tour players this week and is confident it will serve him well for upcoming tournaments.

“I got to hit some of the pro players at the US Open and some of the bigger junior events where they also are. Just seeing how seriously they take it and looking at it like it’s a job is definitely cool,” he said. “I’m able to learn a lot from it.”

Wu Records Major Upset In Kaohsiung

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 8:08am

There have been plenty of big upsets this year on the ATP Challenger Tour, but Tung-Lin Wu pulled off arguably the biggest one of 2016 at the $125,000 ATP Challenger Tour event in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The 18 year old from Chinese Taipei, a wild card currently ranked No. 1,748 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, shocked world No. 131 Denis Kudla in the opening round, 7-5, 7-6(8). With a difference of 1,617 spots, it’s the biggest upset of the year by ranking on the ATP Challenger Tour. 

Biggest Upsets In 2016 (difference of 1000+ spots in Emirates ATP Rankings)

Upset
Tournament
Difference
No. 1748 Tung-Lin Wu (TPE) d. No. 131 Denis Kudla
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
1617 spots
No. 1600 Mikhail Vaks (RUS) d. No. 239 Connor Smith
Dallas, U.S.A.
1361 spots No. 1265 Romain Jouan (FRA) d. No. 131 Adam Pavlasek
Quimper, France
1134 spots
No. 1344 Albano Olivetti (FRA) d. No. 234 Denys Molchanov
Wroclaw, Poland
1110 spots
No. 1265 Romain Jouan (FRA) d. No. 169 James Ward
Quimper, France
1096 spots
No. 1146 Andrea Pellegrino (ITA) d. No. 91 Horacio Zeballos
Rome, Italy
1055 spots

Although he lost in a competitive match to Yuya Kibi of Japan in the second-round, he's still in the doubles quarter-finals with Ze Zhang of China.

“This victory is very special for me, especially being in front of Taiwanese fans,” said Wu. “Before the match, some people questioned whether I deserved to have the wild card, but this victory reconfirmed my ability. I did lots of homework and research about Kudla, so I was well-prepared, but I didn’t think too much on the court. I just swung hard and let adrenaline take over the rest.”

The teenager has competed all in of the junior events at Grand Slams for the past two years, but has also mixed in ITF Futures tournaments and ATP Challenger Tour events. Having gotten a taste of all three worlds, he has been able to pick up on the differences of what it takes to succeed in them.

“The biggest difference is the ability to take opportunities to win the match,” said Wu. “Most teenager players don’t have the mindset to cope with pressure on the court, but the professional players are mature enough to play under pressure.”

Lu’s win over Kudla will see him jump inside the Top 1,000 of the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. But perhaps more importantly, it’s instilled a new belief in his tennis.

“At the beginning of turning pro, sometimes I would doubt my own ability,” he admitted. “But this match showed me to just trust myself and made me realise I can be better in the future.”

Simon, Goffin Advance To Metz QFs

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 5:54am

Two former Moselle Open champions, David Goffin and Gilles Simon, both advanced to the quarter-finals on Thursday.

Second seed Goffin, who beat Joao Sousa for the 2014 title, lost just 10 of his service points in a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff in 67 minutes. The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals contender, who is currently placed No. 11 in the Emirates ATP Race To London, will next face eighth seed Nicolas Mahut. The 34-year-old Frenchman saved all three break points faced to beat Illya Marchenko 6-3, 6-4.

Fourth seed Simon maintained his fine run of form at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament by beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 40 minutes. Simon, now 6-0 lifetime against Garcia-Lopez, has won 13 of his past 14 matches at the event where he is the 2010 and 2013 champion.

Simon will next face Malek Jaziri, who won an ATP Challenger Tour event in Istanbul on Sunday. Jaziri advanced to his second ATP World Tour quarter-final of the year by beating qualifier Vincent Millot 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and 49 minutes.

Lucas Pouille, the third seed, topped fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals. The World No. 18 had match point in the second set tie-break at 6/5 before his 25-year-old opponent made a comeback to force a decider. Pouille sealed victory after one hour and 55 minutes, saving all three break points faced and firing 13 aces to set a clash with another Frenchman, Julien Benneteau, in the last eight. 

Mixed Days For Doubles Seeds

Third seeds Mate Pavic and Michael Venus kept their cool saving three break points in a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over Nicholas Monroe and Artem Sitak, while Julio Peralta and Horacio Zeballos beat fourth seeds Robert Lindstedt and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi 4-6, 6-3, 10-5. In the semi-finals, Peralta/Zeballos will face second seeds Oliver Marach and Fabrice Martin, who were 6-1, 6-3 winners over Gero Kretschmer and Jan-Lennard Struff.

Elsewhere, Colin Fleming and Scott Lipsky saved two match points at 8/9 and 10/11 in the Match Tie-break in a 5-7, 7-6(3), 13-11 win over Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner.

Haase, Ungur Advance At Sibiu Challenger 2016 Wednesday Highlights

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 4:53am
Watch highlights from Day Three at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Sibiu, Romania, where top seed Robin Haase and defending champion Adrian Ungur advanced. Video courtesy Sibiu Open.

Youzhny Shocks Raonic In St. Petersburg

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 4:23am

Russian Mikhail Youzhny, the winningest player at the St. Petersburg Open, upended No. 2 seed Milos Raonic 2-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 in the pair's second-round match on Thursday. Youzhny was two points from defeat, down 5/2 in the second-set tie-break, but fought back to secure his first win in three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against the big-serving Canadian. It was the 33rd win in St. Petersburg for the 2004 champion, who also snapped a 10-match losing streak against Top 10 players. He will face Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals.

Despite the loss, Raonic remains in contention for a place in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. He is No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Race To London behind Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka, who have already qualified.

Third seed Tomas Berdych edged past Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(4). Berdych, who is attempting to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the seventh straight year, is aiming to make up ground on No. 8-placed Rafael Nadal in the Emirates ATP Race To London. Berdych (2,530 points) is 670 points behind Nadal (3,200).

Lorenzi overcame qualifier Alexandre Sidorenko 7-6(6), 6-4 earlier in the day, while seventh seed Viktor Troicki beat fellow Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-4 to set up a clash against top seed Wawrinka.

#NextGen star Zverev broke serve five times to see off local favourite Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-5 in 85 minutes. Zverev's father represented the Soviet Union on the ATP World Tour. The 19-year-old German was reunited with his grandfather for the first time in 10 years this week in St. Petersburg.

Eighth seed Joao Sousa saved five of seven break points to defeat wild card Andrey Rublev 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes.

Doubles Semi-Finals Set

Top seeds Dominic Inglot and Henri Kontinen downed Paolo Lorenzi and Adrian Mannarino 6-7(5), 6-1, 10/7 to set a semi-final clash against Russians Konstantin Kravchuk and Andrey Kuznetsov, who won 6-4, 7-6(6) against Karen Khachanov and Lukas Rosol.

Andre Begemann and Leander Paes were 6-3, 7-5 winners over Purav Raja and Divij Sharan. They will next face Mikhail Elgin and Alexander Kudryavtsev, who upset No. 2 seeds Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic 7-6(4), 7-5.

Federer Leads Forbes List In Endorsements

Fri, 23/09/2016 - 3:21am

Roger Federer's commercial appeal is without equal. The Swiss star leads all professional athletes with $60 million earned in off-court endorsements according to The World's Highest-Paid Athletes 2016 list compiled by Forbes. The Basel native's commercial partners include Nike, Wilson, Rolex, Mercedes-Benz, Credit Suisse and Moët & Chandon.

The 35 year old is No. 4 in total 2016 earnings on the Forbes list with $67.8 million, trailing only footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and NBA star LeBron James.

Top 10 Highest-Paid Athletes (Forbes)

Name
Total Earnings
Endorsements
Salary/Prize Money Cristiano Ronaldo
$88 million

$32 million

$56 million Lionel Messi
$81.4 million
$28 million
$53.4 million LeBron James
$77.2 million

$54 million

$23.2 million Roger Federer
$67.8 million
$60 million
$7.8 million Kevin Durant
$56.2 million
$36 million
$20.2 million Novak Djokovic
$55.8 million
$34 million
$21.8 million Cam Newton $53.1 million
$12 million
$41.1 million Phil Mickelson
$52.9 million
$50 million
$2.9 million Jordan Spieth
$52.8 million
$32 million
$20.8 million Kobe Bryant
$50 million
$25 million
$25 million

Federer is joined by four other ATP World Tour players in the Top 100. Novak Djokovic is No. 6 ($55.8M), Rafael Nadal is No. 21 ($37.5M), Kei Nishikori is No. 29 ($33.5M) and Andy Murray is No. 74 ($23M).

Federer compiled a 21-7 record at tour-level in 2016, but missed more than two months due to knee surgery following the Australian Open and was forced to cut his year short after Wimbledon. In total, Federer owns 1,080 match wins and 88 titles at tour-level.

See the full list at Forbes.com

 

Torpegaard Enjoys Breakthrough On Home Campus

Thu, 22/09/2016 - 12:11pm

After being just one match away from bringing the NCAA men’s singles championship to Ohio State University, Mikael Torpegaard is enjoying an ATP Challenger Tour breakthrough on his home campus.

The 22 year old from Denmark and current junior at OSU won his first main draw Challenger match at this week’s $50,000 event in Columbus, Ohio, prevailing on Tuesday over American Nicolas Meister. Torpegaard then delighted the home crowd with a three-set win over Canadian Peter Polansky in a second-round match on Wednesday.

“It was super cool. I’m happy to figure out the level I need to be at going forward,” said Torpegaard. “I know that I made the right decision going to college and also coming to OSU. I’ve had amazing coaches here and my time at OSU has really prepared me for a pro career on and off the court.”

Torpegaard finished his sophomore year at OSU with a 34-5 record, topping it off with a runner-up showing at the NCAA men’s singles championship last May. He also had the opportunity to play against some the world’s best players at the beginning of his sophomore year, falling to Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer in a Davis Cup tie for Denmark against Spain last September.

The Dane used those experiences to have a successful summer on the ITF Futures circuit, posting a 15-4 record and winning his first pro singles title last month in Finland.

“There are actually a lot of similarities between college tennis and Challenger tennis because a lot of the top college players could play at this level,” said Torpegaard. “But the biggest difference is knowing the struggle of travel alone, the economic aspect and putting all of those pieces together. You do get a lot of help in college tennis, a lot of matches and everything is kind of set up for you.”

Torpegaard has been one of the top players in Denmark for the past three years. Although he’s optimistic about how tennis is growing in the country, he said that college tennis is an ideal path for players from smaller nations who are eager to eventually make it onto the ATP World Tour.

“It’s tough to find support from sponsors, so people are now seeing college tennis as a good option,” said Torpegaard. “I think people are realizing that college tennis is the way forward, whereas before, the guys at the head of my federation thought that college tennis is where good players go to die. I’m glad people are starting to realize that there’s more than one way to make it and that college tennis can be used as a stepping stone towards a professional career.”

St. Petersburg Sights On Display

Thu, 22/09/2016 - 12:01pm
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St. Petersburg Open – St. Petersburg, Russia

Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Viktor Troicki, Alexander Zverev and more stars attend the St. Petersburg Open's swanky soiree at The Four Seasons Hotel on Monday night in St. Petersburg. 

Second and third seeds Raonic and Berdych took time away from the tournament to visit the iconic St. Isaac's Cathedral. The duo were joined by Raonic’s girlfriend Danielle Knudson to take a tour of one of the city’s most picturesque landmarks, as well as climb up a private staircase to the Balustrade where 12 bronze angels overlook St. Petersburg. More

Former champion Mikhail Youzhny held a master class in the TRK “Galereya” shopping mall. All the mall guests were welcome to take part in the tournament. The guests then challenged themselves as they tried to return Youznhy’s serve. More

Youzhny also visited a shirt museum at Sibur Arena, which hosts a collection of all past champions’ signed shirts.

Troicki and Dusan Lajovic took a scenic canal boat tour to take in the city sights.

Youzhny, Joao Sousa, Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev met fans at autograph sessions.

Andrey Kuznetsov attended a meet-and-greet for Emirates.

Moselle Open – Metz, France

Gilles Muller and Vincent Millot played mini tennis with young fans at Galeries Lafayette.

David Goffin, Tommy Robredo and NextGen’s Quentin Halys participated in meet-and-greets with local fans.